Norwegian cruise

Dilemas, dilemas etc

I make almost all my quilts inspired by what I see around me. It can be people walking down the street or things i see in museums etc. Even if it is a pomegranate I usually try to buy one and draw it. I usually come home from my travels, and look through my photos and make a quilt, or a 3D item. They are my special memories.

So last year I was asked to teach on a Baltic Cruise next year, all sounded great, I’d been to Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki etc and I had lots of quilts and lots of different techniques that I teach based on the quilts I had made.

Oh dear… the Baltic cruise was cancelled and I was invited to teach a Norwegian Cruise. Fantastic opportunity!

Challenge 1

I’ve never been to Norway but have always wanted to go.

Challenge no 2

Hand stitch only – no machines available

Challenge 3

My mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness in March of this year with 3-4 months to live

Challenge 4

She lived 3/4 hours drive away

Challenge 5

I had a very busy teaching schedule planned for April, May, June, July and August

So how was i going to respond to these challenges…..

Teaching preparation takes a lot of planning. The way I like to work is so important for me. Working from my own photos means , amongst other things – they are my photos, my quilts etc.

I like to teach students to look around them, I also like to teach students to design.

So with my head not quite in the right place I tried to adapt some of my Baltic cruise quilts for the Norwegian cruise but not very successfully.

So here is what I came up with…

One of the projects that will work well will be my Interchange applique. Students could make a reindeer head, rather than a pomegranate, or a turnip, but of course you could do a flower or a sausage dog or anything else.

There were great quilts made at the retreat in Leicestershire a couple of weekend ago. On the cruise you would be able to do the same.

I’ve had some lovely feedback from students who attended the course.


When i submitted my ideas I thought – I would have some more time to do some more samples – not a chance!

Last week I looked at the cruise website and went into panic….Oh no! it wasn’t right but not only that, the other teachers work looked amazing.

So I set to, with very little time I decided to make a Bergen or Norwegian inspired wall hanging / table runner

I looked at photos of houses in Bergen Old Town on Google.

Did some drawings on graph paper


Made a final pattern drawing and working at top speed, and making a terrible mess in my studio, made a quilt.


It will take 2 days to do all the applique, and can be hand stitched if we have time but can also be machine stitched back at home.



It is a lot of cutting and ironing, and there are plenty of options to change the design of the houses

Now I will beable to teach students to

  1. Look at the houses along the way on the cruise
  2. How to draw and design an original quilt – if they want to
  3. Change the colours if we see houses of different colours
  4. How to carry out the applique technique that i use in many of my quilts (this is different from the interchange technique)

It will need lots of Bondaweb and lots of different earthy colours of fabric

Some green and pale blue fabric for the hills and the sky

A large piece of background fabric to place it all on to

A good pair of sharp small scissors

Graph paper, and tracing paper if students wish to design their own piece

Pencil, pencil sharpener and baking parchment

The finished piece that I made is 140cm x 35 – so quite big and an ideal size for a table runner

On the other days we will be making “jumper blocks “and also a small mitten needle case



Here is a photo of a new idea that might add to the mittens course


It would be a nice continuation as it is made with felt as well

As always I have quick and unique ways of making something

I feel a little like I can relax now – I really do like my teaching to be right.

If you want more info on the cruise have a look at the website

It looks fabulous!

Check out the website

My new info may not be there yet or

Its in August of next year

I have finished writing up my project for Stitch magazine that needed to be done

Here is the Toran for the article







One thought on “Norwegian cruise

  1. It all looks fabulous, your work is incredible always a wow, wish i could come. Lynne

    Sent from my iPad Lynne Elwell Partners in policymaking 07825433517


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s